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Proptosis – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Pictures

Written by Dr.Mary
IN THIS ARTICLE:

What is Proptosis?

This is a problem with the eyes also commonly known as exophthalmos. This is a condition where 1 or both of the eyes bulge out. There are some individuals who have eyes that seem to bulge naturally because of disparities in the human anatomy. Other individuals can develop this problem. If an individual suddenly develops proptosis it is believe to be serious. Sudden proptosis onset needs to always be evaluated by an eye doctor.


Proptosis Symptoms

An individual who has abnormal protrusion of the eyes may also have other symptoms associated with it. These can consist of:

  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Redness
  • Discharge
  • Headache in cases of tumors
  • Irritability
  • Rapid pulse
  • Excessive sweating
  • Thyroid symptoms if thyroid related
  • Dry lids

Proptosis Causes

The more common reason for eyes bulging is Graves’ disease. This disease is an autoimmune illness caused by the thyroid gland producing great quantities of the thyroid hormones. This causes many deviations to the system’s production by autoantibodies to the TSH receptor triggering that receptor to stimulate thyroid hormone secretion and synthase as well as thyroid growth. These autoantibodies present in the blood systems target the fibroblasts located in the muscles of the eye which can separate into fat cells. Muscles and fat cells enlarge and develop inflammation while veins get squeezed and are not able to drain that fluid which creates edema and the protrusion of the eyes out of the socket. So, in Grave’s disease, the dislocation of the eye is caused by atypical connective tissue accretion in the orbit and around the extra ocular muscles. This can be seen with a MRI or a CT scan. Graves’ disease has other symptoms all of which are comparable to symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

There are also many other problems that can create bulging eyes. These diseases can affect the eyes indirectly or directly and also can lead to protrusion of the eyes. Tumors or cancer can cause eyes to protrude. This is particularly the case with unilateral bulging of the eyes. This indicates that there is a probability that there is present some sort of cancerous growth. Cancer of the eye is rather rare, with retinoblastoma the most common type of eye cancer. The 2nd most common cancer type is melanoma.

Glaucoma also is a severe disorder categorized by a rise in the pressure inside the eyeball. This can lead to protrusion and enlargement of eyes outside the exterior of the eye socket. Bleeding or hemorrhage also can cause the eyeball to bulge. Some eye infections also can cause inflammation of the eyes, causing them to bulge. Often a physical injury for instance an injury of the head may cause protrusion of the eyes.

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Other comparatively rare problems which can also cause bulging eyes consist of:

  • Meningioma
  • Leukemia
  • Eye conditions like orbital cellulitis
  • Mucormycosis
  • Dacryoadenitis
  • Carotid cavernous fistula
  • Duane syndrome
  • Hemangioma
  • Cerebral edema from high altitude

While this problem is only a symptom of a disease or problem, it is vital to take this indicator earnestly. This is due to the method that is creating the dislocation of the eye also may squeeze the ophthalmic artery or optic nerve. This ultimately may lead to total of partial blindness which can become permanent.

Proptosis Treatment

The treatment for eyes that are bulging depends heavily on the cause which is underlying this problem. Eyes don’t just bulge out for no reason – so it is probably safe to say that there is some very serious problem hanging around in the background. Depending on the underlying causes, often medications can help. In other instances, with problems which are most serious, surgery can become necessary. There is nothing that can be done at home to correct this problem. Treatment does need to be done by your medical care professional.

Proptosis Pictures

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